New York approves Rochester Area Reliability Project

New York state regulators have approved Rochester Gas and Electric’s (RG&E) proposed Rochester Area Reliability Project.

Specifically, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the terms of a joint proposal granting a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to the company to increase the reliability of electricity to the city of Rochester, N.Y.

A PSC spokesperson told TransmissionHub on April 22 that the order was not yet available.

RG&E is a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, which is a subsidiary of Iberdrola S.A.

An Iberdrola spokesperson told TransmissionHub on April 22, “We are pleased the commission has indicated they have approved the joint proposal — but cannot comment further until the order has been issued and we’ve had a chance to review it.”

The signatories to the joint proposal, RG&E, state Department of Public Service staff, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, executed the joint proposal in December 2012.

The project calls for the construction of about 21 miles of new 115-kV transmission lines, rebuilding two miles of an existing 115-kV line, adding a new 1.9-mile 345-kV line and a new 345-kV/115-kV substation, as well as improving three existing substations in the towns of Chili, Gates and Henrietta and city of Rochester in Monroe County, the PSC said on April 18.

The project also includes new system upgrades in existing control buildings.

The PSC also said that the new lines are planned to use existing rights-of-way, thereby minimizing damage to the environment. The communities along the planned routes expressed support for the project, the PSC said, adding that the new facilities are aimed at providing for new sources of electric generation for the RG&E system.

The project, which RG&E estimates will cost about $254m, will also help relieve loading on existing 115-kV lines.

Under the approved joint proposal, land use impacts are mitigated by much of the route running along existing transmission and railroad corridors, modifying the original route to preserve existing active farmland and avoid a federal conservation easement and reducing the visual impact of the line in a residential area by undergrounding one portion of the project, the PSC said.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.